In a May, 2002 interview on Lou Dobbs’ Moneyline , Jerome Segal, president of the Jewish Peace Lobby ** and senior researcher at the University of Maryland’s Center for International Security Studies, proposed that the U.S. government ask
the Security Council to assert its legal authority to determine who has sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza. These are areas that are not under the sovereignty of any country, and Israel doesn`t even claim sovereignty there.
While Segal acknowledges that neither the current U.S., Israeli or Palestinian governments yet agree with this perspective, he said the only party who matters is the U.S. He believes that when all the parties exhaust all their alternatives and are desperate for a viable one, that then the U.S. might turn to this as a useful option.
The beauty of Segal’s proposal is that the U.S. and UN would not be asking for the agreement of Israelis or Palestinians to the idea of a UN Palestine Protectorate. In effect, this solution would be imposed upon them.
After assuming temporary control, the Security Council would propose conditions under which the Palestinian Authority would assume sovereignty in the Territories.
The PLO would have to accept Israel as a Jewish state. It would have to accept that the boundary that the Security Council would determine would be the end of conflict. It would have to demonstrate the classic attribute of sovereignty — that is, a monopoly of force in the territories.
While the Segal proposal is creative and visionary, it has one weakness. Nowhere does Segal talk about the possibility that the Palestinians will reject a UN role in their affairs as they’ve rejected an Israeli role. While the UN would be viewed in a more benign way than Israel, we see in Iraq that the UN is no longer viewed as an unbiased party. This could happen in Palestine too.
** The Jewish Peace Lobby is a small, but intensely creative organization which lobbies the U.S. government on behalf of a two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. JPL polls to determine Israeli and American Jewish attitudes about the conflict. It also lobbies Congress for funding for specific projects in Israel and Palestine which advance the goals of peace and reconciliation.